Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Beauty Review: L'Oreal Voluminous Mascara

I am a big fan of L'oreal mascaras - I love Million Lashes and the Telescopic mascara, so when I spotted a L'oreal mascara called Voluminous I had very high hopes.  Unfortunately, it was a bit of a waste of money.

Initially, I was impressed - added volume, length, very black colour and holding a curl.  After a few hours I had a look in the mirror and it was everywhere.  This mascara transferred more than anything I've ever used.  After only a few hours it was all over my lids, all below my eyes and generally looked terrible.  I thought maybe it was a one-off and tried again but the exact same happened.  I've now tried everything - primers, powders, setting sprays, everything.  Nothing worked! This one's going straight in the bin!

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Sunday Post: Blogger Inspired

For the last three years I've regularly read beauty blogs and watched beauty youtubers in my spare time, making it impossible not to have a wishlist as long as my arm.  I'm not terrible at buying into hype, but sometimes I just can't resist, and more often than not it pays off - all of these products were inspired by blogger hype and I've ended up loving them!

The Real Techniques brushes are hugely well-known in the blogosphere, mainly because they were created by youtuber Sam Chapman.  They're incredibly high quality considering their low price, and I use mine every single day.  The Collection Lasting Perfection concealer is probably one of the most talked-about high street concealers, and for good reason.  It's got good coverage and staying power to rival a much higher end concealer.  I wasn't particularly fussed about MAC until I started blogging, but I soon had a wishlist as long as my arm - you can't fault their amazing range of products and shades.  The powder blush in Melba and Mineralised Skin Finish in Stereo Rose probably wouldn't have had a second glance if I was in store, but after seeing reviews and swatches, I had to add them to my collection - they're perfect summer shades.

The Urban Decay Naked palette was on my wishlist for well over a year before I added it to my collection as my first ever 'proper' eye shadow palette.  It's had so much love over the last couple of years, and is still regularly used to create eye looks for all occasions.  When I purchased my UD Naked palette, a mini sample of the Primer Potion was included and I loved it so much that I immediately repurchased a full size version which I still use every single time I wear eye shadow.  When the Maybelline Colour Tattoo cream eye shadows were released, there were hundreds of reviews floating around, and they're still regularly mentioned in tutorials and favourites.  I picked up On and On Bronze and Permanent Taupe, and they're perfect for a quick and easy wash of colour.  Strictly speaking, I never bought my Shu Uemura eyelash curlers as I won them in a give-away when I first started blogging, but they quickly because an everyday essential - not a day goes by where I don't clamp my lashes with these to widen my eyes and make me look more awake.

The Revlon Lip Butters were hugely hyped last year, I managed to stick to just 3 but I know a lot of people who bought loads of them.  They're perfect to add a hint of colour when I'm in school and I don't fancy a bold lip.  Lastly, my most recent blogger-inspired purchase is the Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet liquid lipstick.  So many bloggers have claimed this is the best matte lip they have ever worn that I just couldn't resist, and I'm glad I didn't.  I don't have a similar lip shade, it's super comfortable to wear and it doesn't dry my lips out at all - it's love.

What products have bloggers inspired you to buy?

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Beauty Reviews: Bourjois Color Boost Crayon in Peach on the Beach

Even though I am a huge fan of the Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stains, I couldn't ignore the hype surrounding the Bourjois Color Boost lip crayons.  I dont have a shade similar to this from the Revlon collection, so when Boots were offering a 3 for 2 deal on Bourjois products I had to pop Peach on the Beach in my basket.

The colour is a gorgeous everyday shade -  it's surprisingly pigmented and adds a wash of peach to the lips, it would have been perfect on holiday paired with a tan.  It's really comfortable to wear and even though it isn't particularly long lasting, it fades really well without leaving you looking patchy.  It feels pretty moisturising on the lips, although I doubt it's hydrating enough to help heal chapped lips.  I really like the formulation and will definitely be checking out a couple more shades in the future.

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Non-Beauty Favourites

Even though I (usually) do a monthly beauty favourites post, I rarely post about my non-beauty favourites.  These are the things I can't get enough of lately that don't live in my dressing table.

Since the beginning of the summer holidays I haven't put down my Kindle - although I do love turning the pages of a good book, nothing beats the convenience of my Kindle for carrying a whole library around with me!  Any book recommendations please put below - I love trying something new!

Another gadget I can't get enough of is my iPhone 5C.  I has the 4S for three years, so by the end it was pretty slow and battered.  I was gifted the 5C for my birthday back in July and I've hardly put it down! I love the bigger screen, yellow back, panoramic camera and fast interface on my upgrade.

Even though everything's turning digital lately, us teachers still end up with piles of paper everywhere and the only this that keeps me organised is these paper clamps - big enough to hold a full class worth's work without being big or awkward to store, and you can buy cute ones for pretty cheap - I love these Tesco multicoloured bubble ones.

As much as I wish I could carry a few essentials around me and pop them into a little handbag I just cant - I'm a big handbag girl.  I picked this beauty up from River Island in the summer and it's exactly what I need.  The grey super-soft leather goes with everything, there's two straps allowing me to carry it however I like, and it's big enough to fit everything in - perfect!

Lastly - how cute is this knitted graduation owl? It was a present from my Nana back in July and its so adorable! He lives on top of my chest of drawers reminding me of my wonderful family back at home.

What are you loving lately?

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Beauty Review: Charles Worthington Volume & Bounce Thick & Full Boosting Creme

After reading in a magazine a few months ago that Mollie from The Saturdays uses this, I had to pick it up - who doesn't love her hair?! I'm not going to beat around the bush - I love this.  You evenly distribute 2-3 pumps of the pink gel through clean damp hair, blow dry and voila! Your hair has added bounce, smells incredible and holds a style longer without a crispy, greasy or visible resible.  It doesn't make my hair oilier or drier than usual - it's just my hair with added volume - for under a tenner, how can you resist?

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Sunday Post: Morning Essentials

I've managed to get my morning routine down to a fine art so I can get as much sleep as humanly possible.  Cutting down my skincare routine has really benefited my skin, and knowing exactly which products to use helps speed up my morning routine.

I am still loving La Roche Posay for skincare - I wash my face with the Physiological Cleansing Gel and moisturise using Effaclar Mat.  I pop a dab of Nivea Hydro Care on my lips because it moisturises them and adds a bit of SPF15 protection from the sun.  When I brush my teeth I usually use a toothpaste from Colgate but that's more because it's a habit from living at home than my personal preference.

If I wash my hair, I can't get enough of the Charles Worthington Volume & Bounce shampoo and conditioner at the moment - it smells divine and gets the job done without weighing my hair down or leaving any gross residue.  If I don't wash my hair I use my trusty Batiste, I like most of the scents, but I'm using Blush at the moment.  I haven't included a shower gel or soap because it changes so often, at the moment I'm loving Dirty from Lush.

I know it's lazy, but the only step left is anti-antiperspirant - I love this one from Mitchum.  I am aware that I should moisturise my body, but I don't want to spend the time massaging body butter in or waiting for anything to dry before getting dressed, so I usually skip that step - don't sue me!

What do you use every morning?

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Beauty Review: Bourjous Healthy Balance Powder

As an oily-skinned girl, it's quite hard to find products which keep shine away without looking caked-on or powdery, so every time I hear a recommendation for a mattifying powder which isn't cakey I'm in there like swimwear.  My newest one is this little beauty from Bourjois.

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Sunday Post: Matte Lips

I'm definitely a matte lip girl.  I love a long-lasting finish which is matte but not chalky or dry.  Over the last few years I've picked up a few tips and tricks for comfortably wearing a matte lipstick and found a few favourites.

When you're wearing matte lips:
  • exfoliate your lips - I usually go for a lip scrub from Lush
  • choose a matte lip balm to smooth over your lips - I love Nuxe Reve de Miel
  • if your eating/drinking, keep your lipstick in your handbag for top ups because they have a tendency to wear off in the middle and leave a ring of colour around the edge of your lips
  • if your going for a bold shade, pair it with a lip-liner for a smooth line and use the finger-in-your-mouth trick to make sure you don't have any lipstick on your teeth
My favourites for matte lips are pretty predictable.  I'm not fussy with the format - I love standard bullets, pencils and liquids.  MAC matte lipsticks are a popular favourite - although they can be drying, it's nothing that can't be solved with a dab of lip balm; I'm a sucker for Ruby Woo.  Revlon are a pretty impressive high-street brand for matte lips - their matte lipsticks in bullet form are just as comfortable as MAC's offerings although they don't wear quite as well, they're definitely worth a try!  Revlon's Matte Balm crayons are pretty new to the market, but I love them! My favourite shade is Audacious - a bright orange shade which looks perfect with a tan, I wore this loads on holiday.

When it comes to matte liquid lipsticks, Bourjois are killing it at the moment; the Rouge Edition Velvets are doing the rounds on the blogosphere and I've seen nothing but praise for them.  They've got a range of gorgeous colours, they're comfortable to wear and they're long lasting, all for under a tenner! These next ones are a little harder to get hold of, but Sephora Lip Cremes are a seriously comfortable way of wearing a bold matte lip.  I have shade 01 (the perfect red), but I'm fancying shade 03 too.  They're  a little less comfortable to wear than the Bourjois liquid lipsticks but they last longer - you win some, you lose some!

Are you a matte lip girl? What are your favourite matte lipsticks?

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Books I've Loved This Summer

Since I was a little one, I've been a complete bookworm.  Sometimes work or studying gets on top of me and I don't pick up a book for a while, but ever summer I dive head-first into my kindle and lose myself in a range of fictional worlds.  I enjoy a range of genres and writing styles, although I do tend to prefer fiction to non-fiction or autobiographies.  These are the six stories I adored this summer, and 100% recommend.

Lucie Whitehouse - The Bed I Made and Before We Met
This author is a recent discovery for me, but both of these stories had me hooked.  Beware of the creepy element in Lucie's writing which gave me goosebumps and often left me thinking about the story a long time after I'd finished turning the pages.  Without giving too much away, these are gripping thrillers based around not knowing your other half quite as well as you expect which I just couldn't put down.  They are a little far-fetched in places, and they don't quite live up to Gone Girl standard, but they're up there, particularly The Bed I Made.

Nick Louth - Bite
Admittedly, I only downloaded this because it was cheap on the kindle store and I needed something to read while I was waiting for pay day, but I absolutely loved it.  It was fast-paced, filled with twists and turns and incredibly interesting.  Erica has found a cure for a deadly disease, but the night before presenting her findings, she disappears leaving her new boo Max to find her and uncover a lot along the way.

E. Lockhart - We Were Liars
Another book I only bought for the price, but it's a good'un.  The story follows a group of teenagers on their yearly summer visits to their grandfather's island, but there's an unexpected haunting twist that I never saw coming.

Graeme Simsion - The Rosie Project
Although the last three have been thrillers, this is the complete other end of the spectrum - a feel-good read that made me laugh-out-loud.  Don Tillman is stuck in his ways, and is on the lookout for his perfect woman who meets his long list of criteria - the only problem is that she may not exist.  Rosie definitely doesn't fit his criteria, but she does make him happy, and that just might be what he needs to reverse his rut.

David Levithan - Dash and Lily's Book of Dares
If you enjoyed John Green's books or Rainbow Rowell's Eleanor & Park you need to try this.  Instead of looking for the right guy, Lily hides dares in her local bookshop hoping the right guy will find it, Dash won't back down from the challenge and they fall for each other on paper, but they don't know if it'll be the same in real life.  Such a lovely easy read which was perfect lounging by the pool!

I would love to hear your book recommendations - pop them in the comments and I'll give them a shot! 

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Beauty Review: Illamasqua Matte Veil

I was part of the crowd that read the hundreds of reviews surrounding Hydra Veil when it was released in 2013; I was sucked in by the unique formula and packaging, I was desperate to get my hands on a little black pot, but I couldn't bring myself to do it.  Surely anything with 'Hydra' in the name wasn't going to be a good match for an oily skin? My prayers were answered when earlier this year Illamasqua released their Matte Veil base - I was sold.  Then I read Sarah's review (here); 30 seconds later I had made my order.